Not only did waking up and going to school become a nightmare, but coming home became one too.

I thought that middle school was going to be the most biggest and most positive change in my life. Being bullied for how I looked based off my culture was one thing, but being terrified of going to school was another up until the 4th grade. Once I was near to ending my elementary school days, the class bully was identified and was constantly picking on me. The downside: he didn’t bully any of my friends. Some may think that graduation would have ended the problem, but that doesn’t stop there.

See the thing is, I was the first one to hit puberty in my class when I entered the 5th grade, so the topic of sexual assault or abuse was never something anyone worried about at the time, or at least I thought so. Flash forward to 7th grade, the bullying had increased after I had become a fresh new target. Now flash forward to my 13th birthday (or was it a month or two before that?). My home wasn’t even a safe environment for me anymore at this point. Had I known that family members are also the type of people to sexually molest / assault / abuse you, I would have opened up sooner.

Coming home was just as terrifying as going to school, especially when it took me time to adjust and understand that whatever was happening to me was not okay. Why did I stay quiet? I didn’t think anyone would understand or care. Sure my friends made sure I was okay on a daily basis and told me that I can always go to their homes where it’s safe, but that didn’t make a difference to me. I became suicidal trying to drown myself in the bathtub only for the man who was causing me my pain to pull me back up.

Taking a shower had become an issue since he felt that it was necessary for him to take the lock off the bathroom door, but out in public was a different story. Out in public, I had to walk with a man who was causing me physical pain back at home to the bus stop in order to go to school. Out in public, I had to pretend everything was alright. Out in public, I had yearned for someone to notice something and ask me if I was okay. That unfortunately did not happen. After 2 years, the pain and torment ended after I moved to live with a safer relative. The physical pain had finally come to an end. 

Now when I look back to what had happened in those 2 years, I think about how much stronger and open I have become. I think about how I have access to so many resources, how I have so many friends who I can easily approach when I need to let loose and not be afraid of getting hurt or judged. This isn’t me trying to gain sympathy, but rather taking the chance to #speakup and say #metoo. This is me telling you that it’s NEVER your fault. But most importantly, this is me telling you, that I survived it too. 


In alignment with our mission to encourage others to #SpeakUp about mental health, we’ve created this blog – a passion project highlighting those who wish to share their stories with the world.

Open to anyone, the series features personal anecdotes from members of the South Asian community who have struggled with mental illness – and the stigma that comes along with it.

To submit your story, click here.

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